2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$299
September 2012
Peripherals

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock ($299)—that would be last September—but it got a big make over just in time for the 2012 International CES, as well a promised release date: September 2012. Billed as the ultimate accessory for the MacBook Air, this new dock is compatible with all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs, adding extra I/O ports to whatever machine you use it with, and enabling you to make a simple connection to a notebook computer when it returns to all the peripherals on your desk. Read More

$20
Apps

Nik Software Snapseed

The best way to describe this app in a nutshell: Snapseed is an awesome photo editing tool. In our review of the iPad and iPhone version, we said the app “focuses solely on making photos look more professional, employing a user interface with a modest learning curve that’s actually worth learning” and highly recommended it to our readers. Now Nik Software has brought Snapseed ($20) to the Mac. Read More

$20/pair
Extras

Just Mobile AluCube Mini

Desktop cable holders generally aren’t the most exciting things in the world, but when they’re designed well, they can add class to an otherwise chaotic workstation. As soon as we heard that Just Mobile was going to take a stab at its own, we knew we’d like the results. Introduced at the 2012 International CES in the iLounge Pavilion as the winning entry from a European design competition held last year, AluCube Mini ($20/pair) is just the sort of cute little metal thing we expect from Just Mobile. Read More

$430-$700
February 2012
Peripherals

Elgato Thunderbolt SSD

If you own a 2011-vintage Mac, you’re probably still trying to find super-fast accessories to use with its new Thunderbolt port. Elgato’s ready to wow you with a new option: the plainly-named Thunderbolt SSD ($430-$700). Completely portable, made from dark metal, and silent, the Thunderbolt SSD promises speedy and reliable data storage in your choice of 120GB or 240GB versions—small capacities for the prices because they use solid-state memory rather than disks, but the speeds may justify the expenditure. Read More

Mobee Technology Power Bar

Along with Magic Feet, Mobee has one more product to show off at the 2012 International CES, and it’s something that we’re especially excited about. For many Magic Trackpad users, Power Bar ($30) is going to be a very big deal. Breaking from the company’s usual trend, this battery pack doesn’t use conductive technology. Instead, it’s packing a Micro USB port that let’s you recharge from one of the cables that is likely already dangling from the back of your machine… or sticking out of your wired keyboard, if you’re rocking one of those. Read More

$6,000
February 2012
Camera

Nikon D4

What’s this? Another 2012 International CES-bound camera leaked ahead of time by Wells Fargo? Great! This time, it’s Nikon’s D4 ($6,000), the company’s new flagship DSLR. Of course image quality is improved over the previous generation D3 unit, but there’s a whole lot more going on under the hood than just that—this is a full-frame camera with plenty of new features, and will be available before Canon’s powerhouse 1DX, to boot. This time, Nikon’s added a bunch of video-friendly features that sound fantastic on paper, plus welcome little tweaks such as illuminated function buttons and a lighter weight. Read More

$799
February 2012
Camera

Canon Powershot G1X

There’s no doubt that this year’s International CES will host a treasure trove of new goodies, and many companies have already begun to announce at least some of their offerings—some inadvertantly. Over the last day, Wells Fargo accidentally let loose a whole slew of press releases for upcoming cameras, including Canon’s new Powershot G1X ($799). When it’s released in February, we expect this compact but powerful prosumer unit to make some big waves.  Read More

$80
Cases

Incase Terra Collection Tote Bag

So many of the computer bags on the market range in aesthetics from neutral to masculine, and the average bag is titled more heavily towards the latter. If you’re searching for a simple and more feminine way to carry an 11” or 13” Mac, we’ve found it: Incase’s Terra Collection Tote Bag is really nice looking, with a rare purse-style design. The company also has sleeves and a backpack in the collection; they’re a good alternative to the usual black and brown options we see so many of. Read More

$180-$200
Peripherals

G-Technology G-Drive mobile + G-Drive mobile USB

It’s not a secret, but many people aren’t aware that premium Mac hard drive maker G-Technology is actually a division of Hitachi—so when Hitachi releases new drives, updated G-Tech products generally follow. We’ve already highly recommended the company’s G-Drive 3TB—just now becoming available in a 4GB version—as our go-to desktop drive, and now some of G-Tech’s portables have been updated, too. Thanks to Hitachi’s new 1TB Travelstar 5K1000 2.5-inch drive, both the G-Drive mobile ($200) and G-Drive mobile USB ($180) will soon be available in 1TB versions. Read More

Free
Apps

Alberto Garcia Hierro Meme Generator

Y U No Guy. Socially Awkward Penguin. Philosoraptor. Even if you don’t go looking for them, these memes have pretty much taken over the Internet, so clearly the best thing to do is join the craze and create your own. Developer Alberto Garcia Hierro has made it remarkably easy with his Mac App Store release of Meme Generator (Free), particularly helpful for Mac users because so many of the memes were originally “designed” in MS Paint. Now there’s a simple way to downgrade your graphics tools and join in on the fun. Read More

$85
Early February 2012
Peripherals

Retrode Retrode 2

Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games have held up surprisingly well since the platforms were put to rest years ago. In our experience, old consoles usually stop working well before their cartridges, but the desire to play some of the classic games never really goes away. That’s why we were seriously intrigued by the Retrode 2 ($85) from Retrode—a peripheral that allows you to effectively play your original cartridges on your Mac, using the actual console controllers. How cool is that? Read More

Apple Store Refurbished Macs

Hard-core Apple fans have few greater joys than opening brand-new Mac boxes, removing the plastic from around their computers, and booting them up for the first time. But like anything else, the sooner you want a new Mac, the more you’ll pay. Patient customers should note that Apple offers a fantastic second option: refurbished Macs. From model to model, you’re pretty much guaranteed at least 15% off the standard retail price, and older computers can go for discounts closer to 30%. That means the you can score a current-generation base model MacBook Air for only $849—a heck of a deal—or get a more deluxe refurbished model for the same $999 price as a less deluxe new one. Read More

Audioengine D1

Be warned: Audioengine’s just-announced D1 ($169) is for serious audiophiles only—guys who would consider putting jet fuel in a Ferrari for just a hint of extra speed. But we know you’re out there, so here it is: D1 is a digital-to-analog converter box for your Mac that promises to “improve the sound of ALL your music” by routing it through a USB port to your best pair of speakers or headphones, processing it with a high-performance, low-jitter AK4396 DAC. Read More

$10
Apps

Playdead Limbo

When used correctly, monochromatic art can transform a good game into a great one, as illustrated by Playdead’s new Mac App Store release Limbo ($10). The walk-and-jump platforming gameplay is engaging enough to be worthy of recommending in its own right, and is augmented by absolutely beautiful graphics. Read More

$60-$80
Cases

Be.ez LE Reporter

We’re already partial to messenger-style laptop bags, so coming across one that looks as nice as French company Be.ez’s LE Reporter ($60-$80) made us pretty happy. Available in a variety of sizes for the 11” and 13” MacBook Air and the 13” and 15” MacBook Pro, we can definitely picture carrying one of these guys around. Of the color options—grey and blue or black and safran—we especially dig the latter, as the yellow really pops against the dark background. Read More

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